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Paul Lowin Prizes

Paul Lowin Orchestral and Song Cycle Prizes

2022 Paul Lowin Prizes

The Paul Lowin Prizes are known as one of Australia's richest prizes for music composition. Since 1991, its history of winning and highly commended works tells a powerful story of the skill and creativity of Australian composers and marks the wide breadth of contemporary musical expression.

Orchestral Prize - $25,000

The Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize encompasses works scored for modern chamber or symphony orchestra of at least 30 players and at least 15 independent lines. Works must be of not less than 12-15 minutes in duration. The work may include instrumental or vocal soloists and/or choral, electronically produced or pre-recorded elements.

Song Cycle Prize - $15,000

The Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize encompasses music suitable for chamber ensemble, using no more than 1-8 independent vocal lines, and may be accompanied by up to 10 instrumental players. The text of the work must have a unifying theme. The composer and the author may or may not be the same people, and the author of the text is not eligible for the prize.

Rules and Guidelines

Read the complete rules and guidelines for the 2022 Paul Lowin Prizes.

Paul Lowin Prizes 2022 Recipients

We congratulate the recipients and shirtlisted composers of the Paul Lowin Prizes 2022:

Orchestral Prizes

WINNER Paul Dean - Symphony No.1, "Black Summer" (2021

SHORTLISTED Anne Cawrse - The Rest is Silence - Concerto for Cor Anglais and Orchestra (2021)

SHORTLISTED Matthew Hindson - Soprano Saxophone Concerto (2019)

Song Cycle Prizes

WINNER Elliott Gyger - Autobiochemistry (2019) for mezzo-soprano and cello

SHORTLISTED Brett Dean - Madame ma bonne sœur (2021) for mezzo-soprano and string quartet

SHORTLISTED Cameron Lam - The Splendour of Lying Naked in the Sun (2022) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, counter tenor, tenor baritone, and bass

About the Paul Lowin Prizes

After immigrating to Australia in 1939, Czechoslovakian Paul Lowin worked as a wholesale dealer of cloth and dry goods, establishing the Swedish Handweaving Co. on George Street. Although a successful businessman, his work was never a main preoccupation. Mrs L Krips, a neighbour often visited by Lowin, wrote 'We never found out what he was doing for a living, as nothing seemed to him important enough to talk about if he could talk about music'.

Lowin's passion for music was manifest in the hand-written will found when, shortly after returning to Vienna in 1959, Lowin died of a heart attack. The will outlined his dream of encouraging excellence in music composition and his wish to establish a competition for works by living Australian composers.

It took thirty years for an appropriate scheme to be approved by the Chief Justice of NSW but eventually, in 1990, one of Australia's richest prizes for music composition was established. The competition was initially held every three years, but in 1995 further changes by the court enabled the competition to be held every two or three years.

Since the first prizes in 1991, over $500,000 has been awarded. Since 1999, the prizes have been presented in collaboration with Perpetual Trustee Company Limited as trustee for The Paul Lowin Trust and the Australian Music Centre.





Winners of the Paul Lowin Prizes

> View a list of all past recipients of the Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize.

> View a list of all past recipients of the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize.


Awards History

Nigel Westlake

2019 Paul Lowin Prizes

Katy Abbott and Nigel Westlake were announced as winners of the 2019 Paul Lowin Prizes at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 22 October 2019.

Lachlan Skipworth and Brett Dean

2016 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of 2016 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 6 December 2016 at APRA AMCOS building in Sydney.

2013 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of 2013 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 28 October 2013 at APRA headquarters in Sydney.

2009 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of the 2009 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 30 October 2009 at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House.

2006 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of the 2006 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on October 5 at a special ceremony at The Mint, Sydney.

2004 Paul Lowin Prizes

The 2004 Paul Lowin Prize ceremony was held at Government House, Sydney on 3 November 2004.

2001 Paul Lowin Prizes

The 2001 Paul Lowin Prize ceremony, hosted by Radio National’s Alan Saunders, was held at Customs house, Sydney on 22 October 2001.

1999 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of the 1999 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced at the Australian Music Centre Awards, at the Sydney Opera House, on 20 September 1999.